It was a day of renewed pro-democracy protests in Iran on Monday, despite the Islamist regime's preemptive crackdown in recent weeks. Iranian dissidents told Israel National News that, even under the heavy blows of the Islamic Republic's
There were reports of live ammunition being fired, tear gas, fierce beatings and arrests.
police and militia, the protests continued to call for regime overthrow.
Members of Iran's elite militia assigned to protect the regime, the Basiji, were out in force early in the day Monday to forestall the Student Day protests that had been planned weeks in advance. Hundreds of police and Basij forces surrounded and flooded Tehran University and environs in an effort to keep any protest under control, but to no avail. There were reports of live ammunition being fired, tear gas, fierce beatings and arrests as more and more people joined various protests in the streets. There were reportedly similar events at universities throughout Iran during the day.
The Iranian regime attempted to control the information getting out of the country by banning all foreign media, as well as shutting down cellular phone networks, and limiting or halting Internet access. According to Iranian pro-democracy activists in contact with Israel National News, hundreds of people were out in small and large groups chanting slogans against Iran's leaders such as: "Death to the dictators"; "Death to Khamenei"; "Khamenei is a criminal and his government is illegitimate"; and "Riot against Ahmadinejad".
Far more serious, perhaps, for the Islamic Republic were chants such as: "Mousavi is an excuse - the entire regime is our target", referring to former opposition presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi; and "Separation of mosque and state," which is in contradiction to the current Islamic regime's concept of Velayet-e-Faqih (rule of the clerics). Some protesters were seen waving Iranian flags with their Islamic symbols removed.
Protesters blamed Iran's leadership for funneling oil revenues to the Basij militias, as well as for promoting terror and instability throughout the region. One chant described it, "Gaza, Lebanon were not enough. Now they are making trouble in Yemen". There is in fact a growing and spreading uprising of tribal Shiite separatists in Iran, analysts from the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response explained, which is known to be backed by Iran.
Gaza, Lebanon were not enough. Now they are making trouble in Yemen.
A chant that repeated itself again and again when the students and their supporters faced the Basij and police brutality was: "Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid! We are all together."
Iranian Media: What Students?
The official Iranian news agency reported briefly on the events in the country, playing down the extent and breadth of the protests.
"Some rioters... gathered on the streets around Tehran University campus and clashed with police," The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. The rioters, according to the news agency, "were not students" and the police successfully dispersed them.
As of late afternoon, Iranian TV showed no film of the day's violence, although there were apparently some images of protesters gathered outside Tehran university gates.
Pres. Obama Asked to Stop Appeasement
The Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran, a grassroots organization with branches in the United States, issued a call in the wake of the week's crackdowns. The group "urgently calls on President [Barack] Obama to stand up for the United States' founding principles, stop appeasing the Islamic Republic and support the pro-democracy movement of Iran."
The PDMI continued: "Iranians are resoundingly saying 'no' to this barbaric occupying regime under very difficult conditions. A regime that beats, rapes and kills Iranian peaceful demonstrators. Thirty years of failed diplomatic overtures by both Republican and Democratic administrations should be a clear message for those in Washington that this regime is not reformable and regime change is the only viable option before mullahs develop their nuclear weapons."
The PDMI appeal came on the heels of a statement by Obama's national security adviser, James Jones, saying that talks with Iran remain a possibility. Although he admitted "the picture is not a good one."